Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Donal Og Cusack from Sustainable Energy Authority to give some advice for people considering this job:

Donal Og Cusack

Automation/Energy Engineer

Sustainable Energy Authority

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Donal Og Cusack
Some of the best people I know still aren’t sure what they want to do, my advice would be to give it a go. If you don’t like it you can always try something else. Whatever is in your heart follow it, don’t be something just because someone in your family is. Whether you’re looking to be a leader, a designer or come up with new ideas and a better way of doing things, make sure it’s something that fills you with passion.
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Enterprising people like situations that involve using resources for personal or corporate economic gain. Such people may have an opportunistic frame of mind, and like commerce, trade and making deals. Some are drawn to sales and marketing occupations. Many will eventually end up owning their own business, or managing a section in larger organisations. They tend to be very goal-oriented, and work best when focused on a target. Some have an entrepreneurial inclination.
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What is a Career Anyway?

A career is a central part of an individual's journey through life. As adults we may look back and see how we moved between studying and employment, and between raising a family and various job promotions or job losses. This journey from back in your early schooldays to where you are today is your career so far. And the years ahead will see your career move on, often in unpredictable ways.

Gone are the days of considering a career as being the occupation you aimed for on leaving school or college, and that you could loose your career if you lost your job. Your career, and that of your children, is now viewed as a journey, and the emphasis today is on ensuring your child is prepared for the journey, not just the first stop.

Jobs, Occupations, Careers - I'm Confused?

Nobody entirely agrees on what these commonly used words mean, but here are some of the more accepted definitions:

Job Work that is paid for in return for performing specific tasks: e.g. an electrical engineer with ESB 
Occupation This refers to a range of correlated jobs that are associated or have similar characteristics – e.g: educator, engineer, scientist
Career The paid and unpaid variety of occupations, skills, experiences and knowledge that one experiences and accrues across a lifetime journey. It refers to the totality of all our relationships with family, friends and associates, our education, leisure activities, voluntary activities and our life roles.

There are lots of career theories and frameworks to help us make sense of this aspect of our lives, one of the most popular is that of John Holland or Donald Super’s Life Span Life Space Theory. Super states that people play nine major roles as they mature – Child, Student, Leisurite, Worker, Citizen, Spouse, Home-maker, Parent, Pensioner. Each of these roles comes with expectations and responsibilities. Super defines career as: ‘the combination and sequence of roles played by a person during the course of a lifetime.’

Without getting too technical, and regardless of which theory you favour, there are some fundemental principles that need to be understood by parents and young adults alike: The High Five Principles for Career Planning

 


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